Sexual contact influences orientation to plant attractant in Colorado potato beetle, Leptinotarsa decemlineata Say (Coleoptera: Chrysomelidae)
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- Dickens, J.C. Naturwissenschaften (2007) 94: 847. doi:10.1007/s00114-007-0261-z
Chemical signals emitted by insects and their hosts are important for sexual communication and host selection. Plant volatiles facilitate the location of suitable hosts for feeding and oviposition, and may moderate responses to sex and aggregation pheromones. While mating has been shown to moderate behavioral responses to pheromones in a number of insects, little is known about the effects of mating on behavioral responses of insects to plant attractants, and even less is known about the mechanisms involved. In this study, mating was shown to decrease behavioral responses of the Colorado potato beetle to a host kairomone within 24 h, and attraction to the kairomone recovers only after 72 h. This decrease in responsiveness also occurs when only contact with the opposite sex is allowed; the effect is not observed with contact among individuals of the same sex. Peripheral olfactory responses to a component of the kairomone correlate with the observed behavioral responses and suggest involvement of antennal receptors in the behavioral change.